Something of a ruffian, Leif always looks out for his kid brother, Wald, protecting him from his many bullies. He cares little for those of sophistication, taking a blunt and direct approach to life (as well as espousing an equally uncomplicated worldview). He and Wald are the only two sons of their mother, Maeve, and father, Eric, who was drafted into war when Wald was just a baby, and Leif was very young. Leif doesn't like to be told anything he doesn't already know, in contrast to Wald, who's always eager to learn. He can be quite insensitive when teasing his little brother, such as ribbing him for the handbag he carries. Yet Leif still manages to be loved by many for his bravado and heartfelt sincerity, especially Alana.
His whole life, Leif has thrived on projecting his macho persona, but this is only a facade to hide his fragile ego and many insecurities, which gradually come to light over the course of the story.
A timid and thoughtful boy, Wald possesses high natural intelligence and was viciously bullied in school. Maeve's sister, Anaille, and her husband Richard offered to fund a private tutor for Wald, and he studied under the eccentric Mr. Pedro (named after Don Pedro Fages) after that. Wald cries himself to sleep with a degree of regularity, desperately desiring to be "normal". He is haunted by the spirit of Maire, who urges him to "embrace himself." Also a talented illusionist and quick-change artist, Wald uses these skills to help earn money for his impoverished family.
Wald exhibits a fervent enthusiasm for geography, history, and culture. As Leif jokes, their journey is like the "ultimate field trip" for him.
An aspiring botanist living in Celta (real-world Ireland), and the cousin of Leif and Wald. She is often the voice of reason on their journey, keeping Leif in line when he starts to go too far, and supporting Wald when he expresses self-doubt. Her parents, Anaille and Richard, are wealthy socialites and have given her little attention throughout her life; she was moreso mothered by their maid, Patsy, who always pitied Alana's loneliness. Shy but very knowledgeable, she can show plenty of determination when need be.
When the group becomes lost on Lemur Island (Madagascar), Alana is found by the resident Lemurs, who subsequently make her their queen. For the first time in her life, she actually feels appreciated, though when Leif and the others arrive (not recognizing her at first), she knows it can't last forever...
A troubled young man serving as a watch guard in Varisse, born in Valeshire (Wales). His father, also named Leonardo, was drafted into war not long after he was born, as Leif & Wald's father Eric also was. Soon after, his mother Erma fell ill and died, and he was taken in by his uncle, Bartholomew, who verbally and physically abused him. Leonardo developed an inferiority complex as a result. In childhood, he had a female friend by the name of Marianne who liked him, but as they grew older, he shied from her advances.
When Leonardo became an adult, he wanted to get as far away from his uncle as possible, and immigrated to Varisse (Paris). There, he met Bruno after a series of failures culminated in him crying in the gutter on the cold, wintry streets.
The dreaded one known as Captain Shanghai, whom even the navy fears. Near the beginning of the story, when Leif, Wald, Alana, and Maeve are in Varisse celebrating Wald's 12th birthday, Shanghai's crew commandeers their ship, and upon returning, the four stumble right into his trap. Making them his slaves, Shanghai sails for the Meditan (Mediterranean) Sea. There they encounter a tempestuous storm created by the great legendary bird, Euroclydon. Since his youth, Shanghai has always wanted the opportunity to slay the creature, and insanely jumps from the ship to confront it head-on. Meanwhile, the wind and waves tear the ship apart, and with a great blast of its wings, Euroclydon scatters everyone far and wide.
Keanu carries a cursed barong (shortsword) that he brought from his home island (real-world Hawaii). His possession of the forbidden blade was the reason for his banishment, much to the distress of his childhood friend Hina.
A renowned (notorious?) scholar of Varisse. He has been tasked with restoring the four quarters of the Archives: Balzac, Voltaire, Pompadour, and Lafayette. While on a pleasure cruise, he was captured by Shanghai, and enslaved to serve as his navigator thereafter. He has some questionable ethics, to say the least, and owns the famous (or infamous) Chateau Lolin (Chillon), a fairytale wonderland where any little girl can go and be princess for a day... if she dares.
Shanghai's first mate, dark and cold as a result of his cruelty. He discovered her sealed away in the ruins near Yuca (the Yucatan Peninsula), taking advantage of her weakened state after sleeping for thousands of years. Shanghai coerced Zuma into using her hypnotic powers to entrance an amazon tribe, and they became his crew. Perhaps she simply desires the "security" of being with Keanu, though unhealthy, as when she was awakened, she realized to her dismay that her people and culture were long gone.
But just who is Zuma, really? Where did she come from, and how did she obtain her ability to manipulate the hearts of others?
A roving adventurer who comes to Leif and the gang's rescue when they collapse in a fierce sandstorm in the Irabian desert.
Khali is actually the brother of Qadir, captain of the Forty Knights of Irabi (Arabia). When they were boys, they became separated in a sandstorm while traveling the desert, and Khali was never found. He ended up at the mythical city of alchemy, Hazarmaveth, and became the apprentice of a prominent alchemist. As he recounts, it was good fun at first, "mixing potions and blowing stuff up," but then things took a darker turn and he left to travel the world freely.
Baba (front/center) is a former military general of Gulzar (Gaza). His wife was killed in an attack on the city, and he became separated from his young daughter Vermont (to his right). They reunited years later, and Baba discovered that Vermont had herself joined the army, hoping to follow in her father's footsteps. Together with other like-minded individuals, they formed a troop of goodwill ambassadors that became known as Baba's Girls.
Baba's got a heart of gold, loving the troop as his own. He hates nothing more than Darvedra's tyranny and strives for a world where love and charity prevail over greed and hatred.
Baba's daughter. They lived in Gulzar until it was destroyed by Darvedra, Kaiser of Dalheim (Germany). Vermont's mother was killed, and she was separated from her father. She joined the army soon after, hoping to take vengeance upon those who took her home, her life as she knew it, and everything she loved.
Years later, she reunited with her father while stationed in Xandir, and they deserted the military to form their own troop of goodwill ambassadors, Baba's Girls. Cleo, an air force engineer and Vermont's close friend, was the first to join them. She was soon followed by Nadine, whom they rescued from the International Trade in Xandir. Queen Berna of Ysinia joined their ranks not long after, followed by Nika.
The most quiet and reserved of Baba's Girls. In actuality, Cleo is a cross-dresser, and her real name is Basilius. This comes to light late in the story, as well as the shocking revelation that she was Darvedra's son.
Cleo had a complicated past. Her mother, Vienna, had wanted a girl, and tried to feminize the child's appearance and manners. Vienna was always at odds with Darvedra, and seeing her parents bitterly argue all the time had a profound effect on Cleo... not to mention the fact that she was the reason for it. Following an unfortunate series of events and the mysterious death of her mother, Cleo ran away from home, adopting her new identity and eventually joining Baba and Vermont. She put her knowledge of Dalheim's aircraft to use as a military engineer, always fearing that her father would unleash the horrors of Blitzkrieg upon the world.
Hailing from the bayous outside Philippe (New Orleans), Nadine was separated from her older brother Ozark during a terrorist attack on a parade. She was subsequently abducted and sold into the International Trade, from which Baba rescued her. Nadine gradually opened up, revealing her lovely personality and forming an intimate friendship with Nika.
After the war, Nadine returns home to the bayous with her brother Ozark, but she misses the other girls so much, especially Nika, and feels that even though the war is over, there's still more they can do for the world... and so she embarks on a journey to reunite Baba's Girls, taking on a variety of odd jobs to earn money for her voyage.
Here in uniform, Berna is the queen of Ysinia (Ethiopia), and joined Baba and the others out of compassion for those who have suffered as a result of Darvedra's war. She has a warm demeanor and earthy manner of speech, always making those around her feel comfortable despite her renowned strength and formidable stature. As queen, Berna was attended by her faithful retainer, Jengu, to whom she entrusted the treasury of Ysinia in her absence.
The youngest of Baba's Girls, Nika is the daughter of the Tsar's advisor, Gregory, and Lady Catherine, who died when she was young. Nika grew up starved for affection, exhibiting emotional dysregulation and frequently lying for attention. When Dalheim invades Sovia (St. Petersburg, Russia), Nika is kidnapped, bound, and nearly sold into the International Trade, but manages to escape her captors and stows away on a train to a distant land. It's there that she meets Baba and the other girls, forming a special bond with Nadine due to their common experiences.
A watch guard in Varisse, originally from the walled city of Garris (Quebec City, Canada). When Leonardo became homeless, Bruno offered him shelter and a job as a guard with him. As a person, Bruno is hearty and personable. His girlfriend Daisy is captured in an attack by Dalheim, and he leaves with Leonardo, Leif, Baba and the others to rescue her.
A nun of the Grand Cathedral (the Vatican). On a pilgrimage to Mt. Hagar (Sinai), she is saved by Leif and company when attacked there. She took in the orphaned Noelle, not knowing her grave secret... and sacrifices herself to save Noelle by throwing her out of a window into the moat when the Grand Cathedral is attacked by Dalheim (framing terrorists for the job). Dalheim attacked the cathedral because they were secretly housing Type-R refugees, aware of Darvedra's sinister plot to harvest their blood for his resurrection of the cursed gods.
An orphan taken into the Grand Cathedral by Nana. She was found bare on the city streets, and knew nothing of her own past. Sweet and shy, Noelle gradually warmed to the other children and came to see Nana as her own mother.
It comes to light that Noelle's DNA contains genetically encoded information regarding the prophecies of Edwin Kiefer (Edgar Cayce), as well as the key to a hidden alchemical laboratory beneath E5's equivalent of Notre Dame. In the lab, the heroes discover that the information was hidden within Noelle due to fear of it being discovered and destroyed by Dalheim, as it foretold Darvedra's actions and incriminated him, while the rest of the world believed he was a savior.
Daughter of the Athenian courier, Hermes. Her Olympian blood gives her much greater musculature than that of normal girls, but as a result she is ostracized from other girls and boys alike, who do not consider her "feminine" enough. This is a source of much distress for Iris, though she serves her father faithfully and obtains satisfaction from his praise. She lives with her grandmother, Circe, and is on friendly terms with the virile athlete, Glaucus, with whom she is also in love... but he doesn't know it.
Because Olympians are not to mix with outsiders for fear of polluting their supreme gene pool, Iris was nearly killed in her infancy before Hermes stole her away. He hides the fact that he is Iris' biological father to protect her from the terrible truth.
Nika's teacher before she ran away. After Nika's mother Catherine died, Helena became something of a mother figure to her. She is the daughter of Dr. Petrov, who bioengineered the Lemurs, and possesses telekinetic abilities, which she shows to Nika privately upon her return to Sovia.
The appropriated Sovian government became interested in Helena's powers and began experimenting on her to develop what they called the "Brainwave Amplifier," a dangerous device that would purportedly grant the wearer access to a wide variety of psychic abilities. As Helena tells Nika, however, there were horrible side effects including death, and children were frequently included in the laboratory testing.
Helena could not deal with the horrible acts she was forced to commit, and considered taking her own life before being stopped by Nika herself. In tears, Nika says that Helena is the most selfish person she's ever known, but that she would be willing to forgive her if she would give Nika the love that her mother never had the chance to give. Deeply moved, Helena embraces Nika and swears to do so.
The frail prince of Irabi. He possesses the keramat of teleportation. As both of his parents are deceased, he bears the heavy burden of governing the empire they left behind, but receives the constant assurance of both Qadir and Sarina.
Captain of the Forty Knights of Irabi, and sworn to protect the royal family. He keeps close watch on Prince Ali.
Irabi is at enmity with their neighbors, Al-Razi and Ben-Sina (corresponding to Iran and Iraq), and to appease Ben-Sina, Al-Razi abducts Princess Sarina to give to the sultan of Ben-Sina as wife. Qadir leads the charge to rescue her, accompanied by his close friends Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar (from the Book of Job). They storm the sultan's palace (modeled after the Hanging Gardens of Babylon), and Qadir alone confronts the sultan on a catwalk above a pool of boiling pitch, from which Sarina is suspended (a reference to Leonardo fighting Ben to save Leah in E1). Qadir emerges victorious, and brings Sarina back to Irabi.
Called the "Princess of Peace," Sarina lives in the royal palace of Irabi and is arranged to marry Ali. Though kept secret, she was not born of Irabian royalty, but discovered during the Forty Knights' routine desert patrol. The winds uncovered an ancient tomb, and the knights entered to investigate. They found an ornate stone casket from which light emanated, and Sarina then emerged. Astonished, Qadir, brought her to the palace. Sarina's origins remain a mystery...
Verena, one of the four Promised Princesses, and Princess of Joy. She is found by Leif, Wald, and company during the early part of their quest, in cryostasis within a sarcophagus deep in an ancient pyramid. Like Zuma, she is frightened and quickly becomes dependent upon the others, remembering nothing of her identity nor her destiny.
Berna's retainer. She is named after the beautiful African river spirits, and was visually inspired by the goddess Mami Wata.
Deposed Princess of Honin (China). A wicked kitsune (magical nine-tailed fox) took her place, and Xiao spent her time training in the wilderness with intent to eventually take back her kingdom. That chance comes when Leif, Baba and the rest meet her and her little partner, Li. Even when they manage to expose the kitsune and drive it out of the palace, Xiao does not return to preside over the royal court, but decides to go with the heroes and help them on their quest.
Faithful attendant to Princess Xiao, his full name is Li Hong. He was once human, but became cursed to inhabit the form of a baby panda. As a human, he wore the pink ribbon that belonged to his mother as a memorial to her, despite mockery from his compatriots. Legend says that if he were to taste of the spring atop the highest peak of the Lahiyama Mountains (Himalayas), he could regain his humanity. He might miss snuggling with Xiao like a teddy bear, though.
Orfeo Minnowbrooke, a young opera singer in Ozney (Sydney, Australia). His voice is so beautiful that many adult female singers are jealous of him. One who is especially bitter, and also a witch, magically steals his voice and retreats to her bat-infested den. Leif, Wald and the others discover Orfeo's plight and manage to defeat the "bat witch" and recover his voice.
Orfeo then delivers a beautiful performance of "Pretty Boy," an old Celtan folk song with which Wald is familiar, as his mother used to lullaby him with it. Wald is deeply moved by the performance, and becomes friends with Orfeo.
A Highlander of Gaelica (Scotland), Frey was abandoned by her mother and raised by the race of cat-fairies known as the Cait Sith. She plays the bagpipes and is a proficient sword-dancer. In truth, she is the half-sister of Leif and Wald, the daughter of their father Eric (named after Eric the Red, just as his children are also named after three of the actual viking's children: Leif, Thorwald, and Freydis). After he was drafted, Eric was briefly stationed in Gaelica, where he had an encounter with the woman that would become Frey's mother.
Frey is elated to meet her brothers, but saddened by the impact it has on them. How will Maeve take it? That's Leif and Wald's true concern... Frey herself is innocent and not to be blamed.
The princess of Lepido, a tribe of Lemurian descendants living on Mt. Tasha (Shasta, in California). She is one of the four Promised Princesses, and the Princess of Hope. When the group meets Elyra, she reveals to them that she is the Saint of Zeal, and needs their help to obtain the Seal of the Falcon (the Egyptian god, Ra) in order to unlock the gates at the Garden of the Genesis (Eden), where the Trumpet of the Tiger is located. According to prophecy, if she sounds the trumpet atop the nearby Mount of Echoes (Mt. Hermon), all war will cease.
Leif and Elyra develop an attraction, and he indeed becomes her Beloved (as each Saint has one called Beloved). Sheltered within her tribe, Elyra is ignorant of the outside world, and struggles to maintain her Virtue amidst the harsh realities of human suffering... but Leif is instrumental in keeping her spirits high.
Leader of a band of guerillas from Damsteram (Amsterdam) who infiltrate the concentration camp in Dalheim to save as many as they can from execution and, ultimately, assassinate Darvedra. Accompanied by his comrades, Niels and Conrad, Roosevelt breaks Leif out of prison, but the three become separated from him when falling into a trap. Niels and Conrad, in turn, hold the fort so Roosevelt can escape.
Roosevelt was framed for the murder of his family, when in fact they were taken to the concentration camp in Dalheim and systematically executed along with everyone else who was found to have R-type blood. His grudge against Darvedra is extremely personal, and he would love nothing more than to be the one to end his reign of terror.
Ruthless warlord of Dalheim. In his obsession with the occult, he has discovered the legend of the Lost Kingdoms: Mu, Lemuria, and Atlantis. According to the myth, the cursed gods of Hatred, Chaos, and Grief may be resurrected and controlled by offering the blood of Rygu. He has made his fortress, the Sanguine Citadel, a fountain of the blood of those he slaughtered in war.
In possession of the Seal of the Phoenix, which he obtained by capturing and murdering Leonardo's father, Darvedra proclaims to be the Saint and is hailed as the messiah. He has fooled the world into believing that every major conflict in history was incited by those of Type-R lineage to justify his acts of genocide. In truth, he discovered that R-type blood plasma contains the highest concentration of Vril in any organic substance, fueling his fanatical perversity.
Using census records from every country in the world, Darvedra has determined which cities hold the highest population of Rygu descendants, and made his advances accordingly. Gulzar was the first to face devastation at his hands, soon followed by the occupation of Sovia and Varisse, and total destruction of the Grand Cathedral. Worse yet, there are murmurings of a plan to bomb Anglica (England) and Celta...